This Toxic Ingredient Might Be Hiding in Your Child's Chocolate Milk

Ewww! 8

milkIf you weren't already totally freaked out about the food supply given all the recent recalls and studies coming out about bacteria in our meat and veggies, here's a new curve ball moms in particular are going to have to contend with ... The dairy industry, feeling the pressure of the war on obesity and feeling threatened by many schools' ban on high-cal chocolate milk, has decided to begin making more low-calorie, "milk-like" beverages with artificial sweeteners. They think replacing sugar in flavored milk with aspartame (aka Equal) or sucralose (aka Splenda, which was discovered when scientists were working with DDT) will help them compete with diet sodas. Good times!

But wait, it gets freakier ... 

The FDA says that if aspartame is added to milk, it can't be called "milk." Instead, it has to be labeled "reduced calorie chocolate milk." But the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) aren't fans of this idea and recently petitioned the FDA to change this clause, because they say our kids won't drink anything labeled "low-calorie."

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OMG. This is no better than the tobacco industry trying to duck and hide the FDA's regulations back when we still weren't completely aware as Americans that cigarettes were bad for us. It sounds like Big Dairy is doing everything they can to sneak carcinogens into our kids' lunch boxes! (Then again, vegans would argue that milk itself is cancer-causing, but that's a whole different Pandora's box ...) Thank goodness over 116,000 individuals have signed on to a Sum of Us petition that urges the FDA to "forbid milk and dairy products to include aspartame or other artificial sweeteners."

Well, even if the dairy industry gets their way, the good news is that they MUST include these artificial sweeteners on the ingredient label. That said, this is just a perfect example of why kids have to start learning young to read what's in the food they're eating and to know what's not okay.

My 4-year-old niece is gluten-free for genetic/health reasons and reads boxes and knows if a product is okay for her to eat. Likewise, kids should know to steer clear of a drink that sports toxic chemicals like aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, etc. And while easier said than done, allowing kids to have small to moderate amounts of sugar -- the real deal -- would be so much better than letting them go to down on the chemical-laden garbage the dairy industry seems hell-bent on handing them.

How do you feel about artificial sweeteners? What about it being added to milk in a sneaky way?


Image via liz west/Flickr

kid-friendly, lunch, soda, school lunch


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nonmember avatar MommyD

Doesn't milk also have formalin?

LeeshaE LeeshaE

Milk also contain rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormones) which have been attributed to obesity and the earlyonset of puberty. Not to mention the antibiotics that can decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics when your ill and need them. And the reason for bacteria contaminating food is the over crowding of farm animals and that they are being fed genetically modified corn...cows don't eat corn they eat grass their bodies are not designed to digest corn which causes infection. If you are so concerned with chemicals in your milk you should consider all the chemicals in corn bi products (pretty much anything in a box in grocery store) and fresh produce.

Buy organic buy local buy milk from grass fed cows! Otherwise stop pretending you care what chemicals are in your food.

Chris... ChristyM123

^^Actually most dairies have stopped using artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. When people started buying more organic instead of reg milk, the dairy industry started losing millions of dollars, plus the cost of the artificial hormones and antibiotics, so the dairy industry was really hurting. Many have boycotted the hormones and antibiotics which have cost Monsanto around $250,000,000! (Yay!) So maybe get your facts straight before you get on your high-horse about this stuff :) 

darkfyre darkfyre

OMG read the damn source material. They will still have to list it as an ingredient. What is on the front of packaging is usually meaningless anyway. Read the damn ingredients and STFU. Or buy organic. But even with organic stuff I still read the ingredients because 5 kinds of organic sugar is still too much sugar.

Adrian O'Brien

I forgot the name of the condition... but for some people, aspartame is lethal.  Their bodies lack the ability to purge the chemical from their system and once it builds up to a certain level it is lethal.  I hope these guys have some good insurance because once the ambulance chasers get a hold of this, the dairy guys are going to be out of a good chunk of change.

LeeshaE LeeshaE

@Christie FYI Monsanto sold rbgh in 2008 to Eli Lilly for $300,000,000 and yes it is still given to cattle, maybe not prevalent as it once was but it didn't just go away. The only way to know for sure its not in your food is that is explicitly says on the label hormone free, which companies make a point to do, even ones that are not organic because they know it rbgh does not have to listed as an ingredient. So please the next time you wanna jump down my throat...get your facts straight.

nonmember avatar Laura

Commenting on other comments... As a dairy farmer I can let you know that NO antibiotics are allowed in the US milk supply, it is highly regulated and dairy farms can be fined and shut down if even a little bit of milk from a cow treated by antibiotics gets shipped to a bottler. Also, the milk is checked 8 times before it reaches the shelf for antibiotic residue. Regarding BST and rBST... BST is a naturally accuring hormone produced by cows to make milk. rBST is an injection given to cows, but most farmers/bottlers are going away from the practice due to consumer preferences (i.e: not because it's dangerous to cows and/or people). Milk naturally contains hormones... therefore the "hormone free" milk labeling is technically false...

nonmember avatar Steve

I just took a sip of some "chocolate milk" I got from the store and could not believe my taste buds!!!

I can taste Splenda from a mile away, don't know why, just can. And when I tasted it in my chocolate milk, I couldn't believe it. Then of course I check the label and there it is. Sucralose, along with a nice happy "No sugar added" label.

I turned to Google and here I am. What a TERRIBLE terrible turn of events.

I've gotten really good at reading labels, but never would I ever think I'd find artificial sweeteners in chocolate milk.

Wonders never cease.

If anyone cares, this was Meijer brand chocolate milk. Shame on you Meijer.

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